POPELINI: LUXURY IN A SINGLE CREAM PUFF...

Parisian women are slender and health-conscious, but they are also gluttons who enjoy the pleasures of the table, the only thing is that they eat in moderation. In any case, nowadays traditional pastry is in its heyday, with the cream puffs of yesteryear as the main protagonists... One of the bakeries specialising in this mini-gourmet delicacy is the legendary Popelini: here is its unusual story...

Popelini...

To revive the cream puff (chou as they call it in France), a treasure trove of French pastry that has fallen into oblivion, and to reinvent this great classic through four IMG 1069collections: this is the promise Lauren Koumetz has made to herself, creating Popelini, the first cream puff treasure chest here in Paris.

Everyone has their own little Proust-style madeleine. And Lauren's eyes sparkle when she remembers the cream puffs she enjoyed with her grandmother on Wednesday afternoons.

First sensations, first loves, pastry, a mix of velvet and crunchiness, simplicity and mystery, became his passion. A goldsmith's creation that Laurent discovered in the workshops of the Lette company, specialised in macarons and founded by his father in California. It was the early years of the 2000s. This soft, almond paste-based pastry was a hit with the palate.

But her studies led her towards another passion, High Jewellery, in the marketing department of Van Cleef & Arpels. However, her approach to luxury did not make her forget her sin of gluttony and her desire to create her own business. Why not create a line of gourmet products, crafted like jewellery and able to satisfy all desires?  The idea: they will be small cream puffs, now out of fashion.

By chance, during her research, the name Popelini, creator of choux pastry and official chef to Catherine de' Medici, leaps out at her like a certainty. A round, musical name that smells of Italy. The uncontrollable call for precious stones led her to discover a small shop in her native Marais, no bigger than a handkerchief, which Laurent transformed into a sober and elegant jewellery box.

The mini-laboratory located in the back of the shop is in turmoil during the six months preceding the opening of the shop. Searching for the best raw materials, the right combinations, a perfect accord of fragrances, the right balance between very delicate dry pastry and cream....

Today, three bakeries pay tribute to this tiny delight... And soon a fourth will open its doors in the Saint Germain des Prés district.

2The cream puffs: 30 grams of joy and voluptuousness

Beneath a dome of coloured icing, the soft, airy and light choux pastry is wrapped in a crunchy shortcrust of brown sugar and butter. Beneath this crunchy covering, the oiliness of a custard and the tenderness of a dry pastry in which a fruit confit, crunchy crumbs and chocolate drown... An explosion of flavour. Without fault. A luxury morsel. Within everyone's reach.

They are delicate and come in nine fixed flavours, five more for each new collection (spring-summer and autumn-winter), and a surprise flavour for each month.

In all, the Popelini cream puff offers a range of twenty-nine different colours and flavours. It is very difficult to make because the choux pastry is rather capricious and requires a terrible tour de force on the part of the pastry chef.

That's why, each time it is baked, each eclair is unique.Chez-Popelini

Precisely because of its artisanal manufacture, the Popelini cream puff is made entirely of handmade ingredients: milk chocolate, caramel, praline, coffee creamer with roasted beans, ground and pressed through a sieve, lemons squeezed one at a time...

The ingredients are selected from the best, such as Thiecerlin rosewater, l'Or des Près fresh cream, Valrhona chocolate or natural colourings. Luxury in a single bite... For the delight of the eyes and the pleasure of presentation, the Popelini cream puffs are carefully lined up in a Kraft paper box that is both simple and precious. When the sand-coloured box is opened, these surprises explode into a colourful firework. Cream puff jewels to share in good company. For Valentine's Day, the Popelini cream puff is transformed into a delicate caramelised "apple" to munch on with your loved one. For Easter, it satisfies all the whims of chocolate...

Photos: Popelini @ courtesy of Popelini

 

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Béatrice - Cooking

Bonjour, my name is Béatrice. Thanks to my grandmother, I developed a love of cooking in early childhood. At her, everything smelled of apple brioche, rhubarb jam and fresh country produces. It’s not always easy to cook in Paris as the number of invitations exceeds the days of the week! So, it’s really necessary to think out the menu in order to have a successful diner at home. The wining recipe: gourmet, seasonal and dietetic dishes. And surprising presentations. No longer possible to serve the traditional Blanquette of veal to make your guests happy…

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Edita da RIZZOLI, Sophie la Parigina è una guida di stile moderna su PARIGI. Illustrata dai disegni di Alessandra Ceriani, completata da un elenco degli indirizzi preferiti dalla parigina e arricchita di ricette gastronomiche.

 

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Published by RIZZOLI New York, Sophie the Parisian'sis a modern life style guide about PARIS. Illustrated with color drawings, complemented by a list of Parisians' favorite locations and enriched with gastronomic recipes.

 
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